Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cloth Diapers and Walking; My Experience

Recently, there has been a lot of talk surrounding one topic in the diapering world: Do cloth diapers delay walking?

Well, that depends on who you ask.  If you ask P&G, the makers of Pampers and Luvs, they will probably tell you that cloth diapers do delay walking.  They found this information by funding a 'study', using only 30 babies to compare disposables and bulky, old fashioned prefolds to walking naked.  I have not been able to find any studies using modern cloth diapers.  Their study found that cloth diapers do affect a baby's gait, as do disposable diapers, though not as much as cloth.  I'm not ashamed to say that I don't trust their study 100%.  Is there a little truth there?  Maybe.  But one study using only 30 babies won't convince me that cloth diapering my baby is going to delay her physical development. 

The truth is that ALL diapers, no matter how thin, affect the way a baby learns to walk.  But...is that really an issue?  A slight delay in learning to walk will not cause any harm to your babies!  They will eventually learn to walk.  Disposable diapers are a relatively new invention, and babies were just fine before  (or maybe even better) they started wearing disposable diapers.  If you are really concerned with your baby learning to walk as soon as possible, let him go naked!

In my personal experience, cloth diapers did NOT delay walking.  Actually, I wish they had.  At a relatively early age of 10 months, Midge has taken off running.  Well, maybe not running, but pretty close!  I was shocked a few weeks ago when my daughter took not only her first step, but then also her second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and then ninth, all in a row!  Then she fell down and I breathed a sign of relief.  I think it's safe to say that wearing cloth diapers, both old-fashioned and modern, didn't significantly delay my daughter learning to walk.  Too bad!  It's a lot easier to keep an eye on a baby that doesn't walk..

What is your opinion?  Do you trust the study funded by P&G?  How early did your baby start to walk?

9 comments:

  1. My son hasn't learned to even crawl yet but even in bulky prefolds, double stuffed pockets, or fleece covers he can still stand & jump up/down while holding onto something. He's also only 5 months old! P&G are ignorant by using only 30 babies. Then again so many mamas are making the switch to cloth that they are losing business so its clearly desperation on their part

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  2. I wouldn't be embarrassed about questioning this research at all. A true scientist is always the skeptic. As you stated, this study was supported by P&G! I'm glad to see so many people weighing in on this study.

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  3. My daughter, who wears cloth, crawled at 7 months and walked at 9.5 months.

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  4. My daughter started walking at 10.5 months - has been in cloth since birth. Of course P&G would claim that cloth will delay walking - it pushes more parents towards disposables!!

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  5. I have heard of this before and so they base it off of the bulkyness of cloth diapers delaying walking. which IMO i think its lame for them to say that then again they want to sell disposable diapers so they will make up just about anything.

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  6. My first baby was NOT in cloth and he walked at 10.5 months. My second wore cloth and didn't walk till she was a year old. I do not believe for a second that her delay in walking was due to the cloth, she was just afraid of walking, and had no desire to participate in an activity that scared her! I have friends that only use disposables who had babies walk much later than mine. A study with 30 babies is really too small, every baby is different, some want to walk sooner and some do not, blaming it on what they wear is silly!

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  7. Justice MontgomeryApril 30, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I have heard this 'myth' before and I LOL about it. I have five children, and one more on the way. We started CDing with baby #5, and regressed to baby #4 since we felt 'put out' to continue using disposables on #4 when he was still in diapers. After five kids, I kind of feel like I have a good handle on developmental milestones. EVERY single one of my children, INCLUDING #5, who was a 34 weeker, rolled over by five months and WALKED between 8 and 11 months, unassisted. He was not delayed in any way, shape or form. He was one of my 9 month walkers, btw. Honestly, I feel like he got a better hold on sitting up on his own, because he had a little extra balance with a prefold on his booty. :)

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  8. And if it did delay walking by a bit, so what? One of my babies walked at 12 months, another at almost 14. They both walk fine now. As adults, do we really know/care when we started to walk? Does it affect anything? Of course a serious delay is cause for concern but a few days or weeks? SO silly.

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  9. I don't have any research to support or refute the study, but one of my thoughts in designing Antsy Pants™ Pull-Up Cloth Diapers was along those lines; less bulk over the hip joints to make walking easier for toddlers. And while I don't automatically trust the findings of a study with that small of a sampling, it absolutely is possible to have statistically valid findings depending on the construct and results. I'll be interested to read the study.

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